Episode 49: Insights into Horizons: Continuous Innovation in the Canadian ETF Market

On today’s episode, we are joined by Jaime Purvis, Executive Vice President at Horizons ETFs. Having been the company’s third ever employee, he has worked at the company for nearly 24 years and provides an in-depth inside look into how Horizons has come to have the reputation of being ahead of the curve in the Canadian ETF market. He takes us through some of Horizons history, how they got into ETFs, as well as giving some insights into how these products were chosen. Given the instability of the market today, it is important not only to innovate, but also to leverage experience when creating ETFs, which is what Horizons seeks to do. With such high levels of unpredictability, they aim to provide their clients with as much knowledge as they can to make informed decisions, especially given the Canadian national budget proposal, which will likely affect ETFs across the board greatly. Along with this, Horizons has also created a variety of ETFs, based on products they anticipate will soon play a huge role in daily lives, such as robotics and AI. Despite casting this wide net, these decisions are still made with careful consideration, drawing on the company’s extensive knowledge pool. This ability to continually innovate has put them at the forefront of the Canadian ETF market. To gain more insight into the world of ETFs and Horizons, join us today!

Key Points From This Episode:

  • How Horizons has swap structure works and why these swaps should not be feared. [0:06:55.0]

  • What the rationale behind the Canadian government swap-based ETF targeting is. [0:11:45.0]

  • What the redeemer’s methodology is and the effect that is has. [0:16:08.0]

  • What some of the risks associated with the swap-based ETF structure are. [0:23:56.0]

  • The situations where it does not make sense to have a swap-based ETF. [0:28:43.0]

  • How Horizons chooses their thematic ETFs. [0:30:35.0]

  • What the deciding factors in closing a stock down are. [0:36:29.0]

  • Why it is becoming increasingly difficult for starter ETFs to launch. [0:39:20.0]

  • And much more!

Episode 48: Current Investment Topics: Market Efficiency, Grossman-Stiglitz Paradox, and the Home Ownership Debate

Welcome back to your weekly reality check on sensible investing and financial decision making for Canadians. On today’s episode we kick it off with a combo of a current topics, answering listener questions, and discussing the bad advice of the week. We then dive into the huge shift in the industry in the US in terms of fund flows into index funds out of active mutual funds. When you look at the overall US market cap, 13% of it is in index funds. This means that price discovery is being done by 87%. Inside this episode we unpack what that means for investments overall and how it differs in the Canadian market. We then take to a deeper discussion on our portfolio management topic of the week, which is looking at the relationship between price and future returns. We know that when prices are high, future returns tend to be low, so we dive into how that affects the context of pricing. We also take a look at the AQR study, Vanguard’s dollar cost averaging versus lump sump study, and of course our planning topic for the week; renting versus buying a home and understanding the unrecoverable costs. Join us today and be sure not to miss out on today’s incredible episode!

Key Points From This Episode:

  • Answering a listener question: using dividend stocks to pay down your mortgage. [0:03:41.0]

  • Busting the beliefs and concepts of this week’s worst investment advice. [0:06:33.0]

  • The shift in the US market place: index funds versus active mutual funds. [0:11:27.0]

  • Understanding the Grossman-Stiglitz Paradox: market efficiency. [0:15:40.0]

  • Portfolio management topic of the week: relationship between price and future returns. [0:18:19.0]

  • Discussing the Vanguard study: Lump sum versus dollar cost averaging. [0:24:18.0]

  • A viral topic: understanding the debate of whether to rent or to buy a house. [0:28:28.0]

  • And much more!

Episode 47:The Used Car Business: Inventory, Margins and Customer Experience, with Brad Boehme

Today we’re talking about a slightly different topic from the usual – used cars. We have Brad Boehme joining us and he is the Dealer Principal/General Manager at MyCar, a successful used cars dealership that has three different locations around the country. Brad shares with us how he got into the industry, how the 2008 financial crisis helped them to start the business, where they source their inventory from and why the profits are in the buying more than in the selling. Client experience is a high priority for them, and he tells us how they approach negotiations with clients and what he advises listeners to consider before leasing or buying a car. Tune in today to learn more about the business of used cars!  

Key Points From This Episode: 

  • An overview of Brad’s education and how he got into the car business. [0:1:46.0]

  • The different roles that taught Brad about remarketing and the ins and out of the trade. [0:02:54.0]

  • Why the financial crisis of 2008 was an opportunity to start a used car business. [0:4:10.0]

  • What volume of inventory they typically have between the three locations. [0:05:41.0]

  • Where they source their cars from and why the buying process is so important. [0:07:23.0]

  • The digital platforms they use to buy and sell and what the process involves. [0:08:55.0]

  • How car dealerships make profits, where the margins are and understanding lot packs. [0:12:12.0]

  • How they approach negotiations with clients and prioritize customer experience. [0:14:57.0]

  • Buying and leasing new cars and how residuals work. [0:16:42.0]

  • Factors to consider when you want to buy out a leased vehicle. [0:20:27.0]

  • Weighing up whether it is best to lease or to buy used. [0:21:35.0]

  • Advice for buying used cars and what protection there is for consumers. [0:24:58.0]

  • The cars that are investments and that have a good growth rate on them. [0:29:42.0]

  • The aspects of the business that are most rewarding to Brad and how he defines success. [0:31:25.0]

  • And much more!

Episode 46: Raw Truth of Investment: Why the Best Investment Advisors Cannot Beat a Dart

Welcome back to the podcast everybody! Today we are running through our weekly topics as usual, giving you the best, worst and everything in between on investing in Canada. We are talking a bit about the really interesting and important SOHN Investment Conference and what goes on there. We also go into why random stock picks, chosen by a thrown dart, beat Wall Street's elite and what we can learn from the SPIVA Report. From there we go pretty deep into the topic of low volatility and how its different permutations and readings can impact our investments. In our planning section of the program we talk about returns and how Canadian investing fits into the global landscape. Lastly, we finish off with our segment on the worst advice of the week, where we evaluate a claim that new kinds of ETFs with a new kind of value are what is needed in the market currently. For all this and more, be sure to join us today!

Key Points From This Episode:

  • A little about the SOHN Investment Conference. [0:01:51.3]

  • Why the 'best' investment advisors cannot beat a dart. [0:04:42.4]

  • Active funds versus index funds and the SPIVA report. [0:06:59.7]

  • Low volatility stocks, a definition and understanding them better. [0:13:18.2]

  • The most important metrics in the low volatility equation. [0:19:01.1]

  • Average returns on mutual funds over time. [0:24:42.6]

  • The worst advice of the week! [0:31:56.3]

  • And much more!


Episode 45: Preparing for a Changing World: Advice that Sticks with Dr. Moira Somers

Today on the show we are joined by Dr. Moira Somers, author of the book Advice That Sticks and expert on neuroscience, advising and leadership. Dr. Somers does a great job of unpacking all the different parts of her job and career and a multitude of topics from the financial advice field. She explains what it means to be a wealth psychologist and who makes up the bulk of her clientele.

We then discuss the value of good, reliable financial advice and why most people seek it out and when. Dr. Somers tells us about the critical junctures that often lead people to find a new advisor and financial points of interest for people entering into a new relationship. We get into the value of face to face advice, trust and commitment between clients and advisors and why it is necessary to build a team of advisors with different areas of expertise and practice.

We end off the episode with Dr. Somers offering some great advice about newly acquired wealth, better practices for every day and the three things we should always be considering. For all this and so much more, be sure to tune in today!

Key Points From This Episode:

  • What is a wealth psychologist? [0:01:42.4]

  • How Dr. Somers got into the her current work and position. [0:02:35.8]

  • Using Dr. Somers' book as an advisor and as a consumer. [0:04:25.5]

  • The importance of a good financial advisor's perspective. [0:05:06.2]

  • What are the factors that drive people to seek out financial advice. [0:06:38.5]

  • Marriage, debt, finances and decisions. [0:08:49.6]

  • Choosing the right advisor for your own needs and not just your own feelings. [0:11:30.2]

  • Why so many advisors are fired in times of transition. [0:13:06.5]

  • The value of face to face advice. [0:15:10.5]

  • How to build a strong, trusting relationship with a client. [0:18:56.8]

  • The level of selectiveness needed when choosing an advisor. [0:21:42.6]

  • The benefits of building a diverse team of advisors. [0:23:53.1]

  • Skills that are vital in advising on newly acquired wealth. [0:26:06.4]

  • Smart lifestyle choices to improve your financial future. [0:28:55.7]

  • The central trifecta of time, energy and money. [0:32:39.3]

  • And much more!

Episode 44: Interactions with Trolls: Who Should You Listen To?

Have you ever received hate mail or negative comments on your social media posts? We’re here to tell you you’re not alone. On today’s show we are talking at length about your interactions online with people commenting on YouTube videos as well as a Globe and Mail article which is quite incredible. It’s kind of a theme for this week. We dive into online trolls, those people whose sole purpose in life is to get you down. It’s super interesting to read and obviously very entertaining for some to see. People are forever out there giving advice and it’s up to you to decide who you’re listen to and what advice you’re taking. In wrapping up our talk, we also reveal our pick for the worst advice that we’ve heard in the previous week and why you need to stay far, far away. For all this and more, keep listening!

Key Points From This Episode:

  • Why an index fund should be better than an active fund. [0:04:00.0]

  • How the index committee works. [0:06:30.0]

  • Differences in the types of indexes. [0:07:29.0]

  • Tax loss selling - buying something tracking a different index. [0:09:50.0]

  • People promoting their own beliefs and opinions by commenting on articles and posts. [0:11:00.0]

  • People following tribal leaders and why there’s too much information out there. [0:12:32.0]

  • Decision theory and why you can’t base a decision on past outcomes. [0:13:00.0]

  • Putting controversial content out there and “poking the bear” with dividend investing. [0:13:50.0]

  • Being more wary of who you listen to and take advice from. [0:15:40.0]

  • Who you should listen to - evidence based facts. [0:16:39.0]

  • The concept of dividend growth investors. [0:19:30.0]

  • Wanting the most reliable outcome possible. [0:21:25.0]

  • Dividends as a guaranteed source of returns. [0:24:35.0]

  • Using dividends as your spending rule. [0:26:25.0]

  • The FIRE movement and why not all advice is good advice. [0:28:00.0]

  • How irresponsible it is to use the 4% spending rule for your retirement goals. [0:29:35.0]

  • Worst advice - when mutual funds make more sense than active funds. [0:34:45.0]

  • And much more!

Episode 43: Life at Dimensional: The Constant Pursuit with Dave Butler

On the show today we welcome Dave Butler, who is now the co-CEO of Dimensional Fund Advisors. We have a great conversation about a wide range of topics from the beginnings of the firm, to his earliest involvement, how he was nearly in the NBA and the importance of trust and family. Dave takes us on a personal and professional journey in science-based investing, who his biggest influences and mentors are and how he found the path of fiducial advice after a few different careers early on. We discuss leadership, small cap stocks, efficient portfolios and the building of trust with clients as we scan through the last 40 years or so with our guest. Dave shares history and memories on some of the landmark events in the field and Dimensional's story, spilling the beans on his experiences with industry giants such as Gene Fama and Merton Miller. For a great conversation with an open, honest and inspiring person, be sure to tune in today!

Key Points From This Episode: 

  • How Dave describes Dimensional. [0:02:32.2]

  • Dave's basketball career before finance. [0:03:05.8]

  • A 24 hour transition from sports to business. [0:06:46.7]

  • Leadership, drive and team mentality. [0:09:38.6]

  • The founding of Dimensional and the evolution of index funds. [0:11:32.5]

  • The early days of small cap stocks. [0:17:40.1]

  • Acting in the best interests of the clients and the rise of the fiduciary. [0:21:05.6]

  • The first financial advisor at Dimensional! [0:23:59.0]

  • Dave's own 'aha moment' and joining Dimensional. [0:25:42.6]

  • Independent advice and always acting in the best interests of the client. [0:31:52.1]

  • Building efficient investment portfolios for advisors. [0:35:51.1]

  • Access to Dimensional funds and the indispensability of advisors. [0:37:33.5]

  • Developing the essential element of trust. [0:38:51.1]

  • The expansion of the advisor role over the last 25 years. [0:42:29.9]

  • Dave's relationship with co-CEO Gerard O'Reilly. [0:45:22.4]

  • The incredible experience of working with leading minds in finance. [0:47:50.8]

  • Dave's definition of success. [0:51:38.0]

  • And much more!

Episode 42: IPOs, Indexing and Market-Linked GICs: Weighing Up Their Worth

Welcome to this episode of the Rational Reminder Podcast! We’ve decided to tweak the format of the show slightly, so you can look forward to a more focused conversation around current and portfolio topics and much less talk about factors! In our talk today, we uncover the recent popularity of IPOs, giving you a balanced perspective so that you can decided for yourself whether the hype holds enough merit for you to get involved. We also get into the various arguments against indexing, pulling apart all the factors to keep in mind, and then advise you on choosing account types based on your individual financial needs. In wrapping up our talk, we also reveal our pick for the worst advice that we’ve heard in the previous week and why you need to stay far, far away. For all this and more, be sure to join us!

Key Points From This Episode:

  • How we are changing up the format of the episodes. [0:01:50.0]

  • A closer look at the two Canadian funds with class action lawsuits against them. [0:03:46.0]

  • Investigating the current IPO frenzy and whether there is merit in the hype. [0:07:40.0]

  • How to get an IPO allocation and the possible terms and conditions. [0:11:59.0]

  • A breakdown of the arguments against indexing. [0:13:46.0]

  • Why indexing is risky and the issue of a lack of control. [0:14:24.0]

  • Weighing up the degree to which the skills of fund managers play a role in indexing. [0:19:46.0]

  • Factors to consider when deciding on the type of account that you want to allocate to. [0:23:26.0]

  • The advisable cascading order in which to fill up your accounts. [0:26:37.0]

  • The complexity with market-linked GICs and what the basic premise is. [0:35:50.0]

  • And much more!

Episode 41: The Future of Canadian Fintech: Leading the Charge with Robo-Advisors

On the show today we welcome Randy Cass, owner and founder of Nest Wealth, who were the first financial firm to employ the use of robo-advisors in Canada. Their unique business model and forward looking systems and practices are at the forefront of the industry in the country and hearing Randy's recollections from their processes as well as thoughts going forward will be of great interest to anyone interested in the future of their money. In our conversation we cover the basic history of Nest Wealth and what inspired their big decisions. Randy unpacks their fee structure and how some of the systems work and have changed over the last few years before going into the ins and outs of how robo-advisors field questions. Our guest also comments on the financial market's constant evolution and his personal and professional attitude to passive investment strategies. We chat about obstacles that currently stand in the way of the fintech industry and finish off the episode with Randy explaining his iterative approach to development as technology advances. For all this and more, be sure to tune in!

Key Points From This Episode:

  • How Randy decided to launch the first robo-advisor service in Canada. [0:02:17.3]

  • The evolution of the systems used by Nest Wealth since its inception. [0:04:25.1]

  • Nest Wealth's unique fee structure. [0:06:38.0]

  • Handling questions from clients at the firm. [0:09:50.0]

  • Nest Wealth's place in the evolving financial advice market. [0:13:23.8]

  • How Nest Wealth use technology to scale financial advice. [0:19:04.8]

  • Randy's attitude towards passive and active investment management. [0:22:57.8]

  • Some of the notable obstacles that Randy has encountered in Canadian fintech. [0:25:32.1]

  • Looking forward to the future of the industry and developing iteratively. [0:29:19.0]

  • How Randy measures success in his life. [0:31:39.4]

  • And much more!

Episode 40: Five Factor Thinking: Using Factors to Spot Trends and Guide Decision Making

On today’s episode, Benjamin Felix and Cameron Passmore discuss a paper that Benjamin recently wrote called Factor Investing with ETF’s, which unpacks what factors are and why they are a useful tool in explaining performance. Before discussing Benjamin’s paper, they take some interesting detours, discussing annuities and the newly launched ALDA, why annuities are underutilized and what makes them different from portfolios. Along with this, they also cover some questions that can be asked to measure past performance of funds as well as luck versus skill. They share their insights into the Fama-French three factor model, how it evolved into a five-factor model and why they believe this to be a reliable way to read trends. For all this and a whole lot more, join us today!

Factor Investing with ETFs

Key Points From This Episode:

  • Seller’s Capital: a hedge fund with an interesting investment philosophy. [0:02:46.0]

  • The four questions to ask if you see why past results were good. [0:07:00.0]

  • What it would take for results to be statistically significant. [0:07:54.0]

  • Growing evidence of poor skill level of hedge fund manager. [0:09:53.0]

  • Good returns are not related good decision making. [0:11:27.2]

  • Annuities are underutilized and why it makes sense to use them more. [0:17:00.3]

  • Annuities versus portfolios. [0:18:58.3]

  • Some figures from the Dimension paper which was written. [0:23:26.3]

  • What factors are. [0:26:41.3]

  • What can be learned from the Fama-French model. [0:30:41.3]

  • What the five factor model can help with. [0:33:48.0]

  • Some critiques of using the factors. [0:38:50.0]

  • Benjamin provides examples of using factors for evidence. [0:40:10.0]

  • And much more!

Episode 39: Steering Away from the Financial Extremes with Rob Carrick.

Today on the show we are joined by Rob Carrick from The Globe and Mail! Rob has been writing about money and investing for almost 30 years and has a wealth of expertise and insight to share on everything from mutual funds to ETFs. In our discussion we cover common questions that Rob encounters, how his views have changed over the years, the parts of his job he has most enjoyed and his thoughts on where we are at right now. Rob comments on the feelings of worry and dissatisfaction that seems to characterize Canadian finances at the moment and talks about the FIRE Movement and lessons for the next generation. For all of this great content and much more, be sure to join on the podcast today!

John Robertson’s spreadsheet

Key Points From This Episode:

•    The most common questions that Rob receives. [0:02:47.8]

•    Rob’s shifting perspective on seeking out an advisor.  [0:04:41.5]

•    Why Rob has traditionally enjoyed writing about housing investments [0:07:49.9]

•    The current financial climate and Rob’s take on it. [0:10:14.4]

•    Reasons why current financial worries are justified. [0:13:08.1]

•    The rise in popularity of ETFs. [0:14:50.9]

•    The bad rep that mutual funds have been getting recently.  [0:18:37.4]

•    Good practices for parents to teach their children about money. [0:21:42.2]

•    The FIRE Movement and comparing generational attitudes.  [0:24:56.6]

•    Rob’s own many practices and who he goes to for advice. [0:30:39.5]

•    How Rob defines success. [0:35:23.5]

•    And much more!


Episode 38: Feelings in the Decision Making Process: A Reminder About Rationality

Today on the show we are taking about the influence of feelings in the decision making process. As investors and as humans in general, we tend towards making decisions based on feelings over rational and well-balanced data collection, that is just part of how we are wired. Here at the Rational Reminder Podcast we want to remind everyone of the importance of balancing these feelings with rationality. This does not mean that we should be making decisions without feelings but just to keep in mind our own biases and how these work to our detriment. In our discussion we cover what a good decision might look like, the two systems of thought as detailed by Daniel Kahneman and the importance of framing when approaching a weighty choice. We also run through a little on the safe savings rate and the ETF model portfolio. We end off with some useful strategies that can help you to make better decisions, especially when it comes to your money. For all this and a whole lot more, be sure to tune in today!

Factor Investing with ETFs White Paper

Key Points From This Episode:

  • The recurrence of feelings in decision making. [0:03:56.5]

  • Lack of data in the safe savings rate research. [0:05:18.2]

  • The ETF model portfolio and where to find it online. [0:10:53.8]

  • A few of the twenty craziest investing facts ever! [0:12:13.5]

  • What is a good money decision? [0:15:06.1]

  • Confirmation bias and influences on our decision making. [0:18:50.9]

  • Kahneman and the two systems of thought. [0:20:10.9]

  • The effects of past experiences on our current strategy. [0:24:46.3]

  • Framing as part of the discussion and decision making process. [0:27:36.2]

  • Four things you can do to implement better decision making. [0:30:12.6]

  • And much more!

Episode 37: Spending and Budgeting: Aligning Your Values and Goals To Your Finances

Welcome to Episode 37 of the Rational Reminder Podcast. On today’s show we are joined by Lindsay Plumb, Chief Coach-ess of MOOLA Financial Coaches and Advisors. We’re discussing spending and budgeting, because that’s kind of the opposite end of the spectrum of what we always talk about. We usually assume people already have wealth, but that’s not always the case. Even if you do, both spending and budgeting are super important. Just getting in line with your values and what you spend money on, that affects everybody, no matter how many assets you might have. So in this episode we dive into what it means to have an understanding and alignment of what your values are and what your goals are and how that should inform your financial decisions. We’re helping you help yourself and for that we’ve brought in the Chief Coach-ess with the most-ess. So, for all this and more, keep listening!

Key Points From This Episode:

  • Hear about Lindsay’s background and what she does within MOOLA. [0:02:20.0]

  • Why budgeting is so hard. [0:03:35.0]

  • Discovering your goals and articulating your values. [0:04:56.0]

  • Using a tool that allows you to stick to a budget. [0:05:48.9]

  • Understanding the difference between budgeting and tracking. [0:07:40.0]

  • Why people blow out their budget on food. [0:08:32.0]

  • Coaching people to change their behaviour. [0:09:47.0]

  • How Lindsay advises her clients to coach their kids to modify their behavior. [0:12:41.0]

  • Speaking in somebody else’s language, especially kids. [0:14:13.0]

  • How to do bank accounts as couples. [0:16:48.0]

  • Sudden wealth and how it can affect someones relationship with money. [0:21:50]

  • Retirement and planning for philanthropic or legacy goals. [0:24:50]

  • How Lindsay defines success in her own life. [0:29:30.0]

  • And much more!

Episode 36: ETF Model Portfolios: For Performance and Comparison Purposes

Welcome to Episode 36 of the Rational Reminder Podcast. Today we are going to roll out our new ETF model portfolios. This includes only two new ETF’s compared to a couch potato type portfolio that many of you might be familiar with. Nothing too revolutionary, but it certainly makes a meaningful difference. In this episode we also talk about asset location and review a couple of great podcasts that we’ve been listening to that provide interesting tidbits for investors, and some great information about the evolution of the industry, and about working with the clients. So, for an incredible conversation, be sure to join us!


White Paper: Factor Investing with ETFs

Key Points From This Episode:

  • Slicing up your portfolio for tax efficiency purposes. [0:01:57.6]

  • Controlling for pretax or after tax asset allocation. [0:05:0]

  • Optimal asset locations - highest yielding assets in tax free accounts. [0:06:05.0]

  • Having the same asset mix across all your portfolios & forgetting asset location. [0:09:51.1]

  • Intricate versus complex adaptive. [0:12:22.0]

  • The benefits of working with an adviser. [0:15:32.7]

  • Holding yourself accountable if you’re going at it alone. [0:17:09.0]

  • How it is much harder to find missed prices in the marketplace even for an expert. [0:19:40.0]

  • A history of the financial advice business and how it’s evolved into what it is today. [0:21:29.0]

  • Index investing and where people get their information from. [0:23:33.0]

  • ETF model portfolios that truly offer exposure to the factors. [0:26:11.0]

  • Why people should be thinking about small cap in value. [0:31:38.0]

  • And much more!

Episode 35: Findependence: Finding Financial Independence While Still Engaging In The Things You Love.

Welcome to Episode 34 of the Rational Reminder Podcast. Today on the show we are joined by Jonathan Chevreau who is the founder of Independence Hub. He has authored and co-authored many books and has contributed to The Globe and Mail, The Financial Mail, and Money Sense. Jonathan is here today to talk about financial independence and having that “findependence” while still being extremely engaged in things that you enjoy doing. He also shares with us why your aim shouldn’t be retirement and what he means by a victory lap. We also dive into the role that media plays in investor behaviors and exactly what Jonathan defines as a success life. Jonathan’s insights on financial independence alone are incredibly valuable, and anything on top of that is simply a bonus! So, for an incredible conversation, be sure to join us!

Key Points From This Episode:

  • How the perception of retirement is changing. [0:02:20.9]

  • Understanding The Victory Lap Retirement. [0:04:13.2]

  • Why financial independence and retirement aren’t the same thing. [0:04:40.0]

  • When it is time to consider the full stop retirement. [0:06:47.0]

  • Jon’s views on the FIRE movement (Financial Independence, retire early). [0:07:52.0]

  • The importance being on the same page as your spouse. [0:12:02.0]

  • How paying off his mortgage early on was highly beneficial for Jon. [0:14:53.0]

  • Investing in real estate as a source of income. [0:16:20.0]

  • Where annuities should fit into your long term plan. [0:18:08.0]

  • ETF’s and how they have affected the way people manage their investments. [0:22:20.0]

  • Being aware of inflation during your victory lap phase. [0:24:09.0]

  • Hear more about the role of media in investor behavior. [0:26:20.0]

  • Jonathan’s definition of success in his life. [0:29:12.0]

  • And much more!

Episode 34: The Safe Savings Rate: Shifting the Focus Away from Wealth Accumulation

Welcome to Episode 34 of the Rational Reminder Podcast. Today we are discussing how our new ETF model portfolios will be employed to better accommodate our non-client listeners to whom Dimensional Fund Advisors are not as relevant. We talk about how BlackRock and Vanguard are dominating the market, why the US is leading in passive investment and why traditional financial planning needs to be re-evaluated. In addressing our main topic—safe savings rates—we explore the need for moving away from a focus exclusively on wealth accumulation to an approach more concerned with a safe savings strategy. We ask the all-important question, “How much will I need a month when I stop working?” and provide helpful guidelines on how focusing on the process rather than on the number that can help you to achieve your financial goals. Join us today to find out how you can adopt a safe savings approach! 

Key Points From This Episode:

  • How we will accommodate non-client listeners using ETF model portfolios. [0:03:34.0]

  • The issue of accessibility with Dimensional Fund Advisors. [0:04:51.0]

  • How the world is exploding with asset allocation ETFs. [0:05:26.0]

  • The dominance of BlackRock and Vanguard in the market. [0:09:33.0]

  • How the US is leading in passive management. [0:10:06.0]

  • What the Vanguard-effect does [0:10:27.0]

  • Investing in factor funds versus portfolios of factor funds. [0:11:17.0]

  • The benefit of having a one-decision portfolio that has a variety of different factors. [0:13:28.0]

  • Factor returns versus smart beta returns. [0:15:33.0]

  • Why low beta looks good on the factor side, but bad on the implementation side. [0:16:19.0]

  • More about the 4% rule. [0:17:35.0]

  • The four steps of traditional financial planning. [0:18:06.0]

  • Pfau’s suggestion for a better alternative to traditional financial planning [0:20:27.0]

  • What your savings rate should be [0:24:00.0].

  • The benefit of having a safe savings approach rather than focusing on wealth accumulation. [0:25:09.0]

  • The challenge of knowing how much you need when you stop working. [0:25:49.0]

  • Why you need to focus on the habit rather than on the target. [0:27:10.0]

  • And much more!

Episode 33: Low Cost Index Investing with Rick Ferri: What You Need To Be a Successful Index Investor

Today on the show we are joined by Rick Ferri. Anyone who follows or is interested in index investing will probably have read something of Rick’s. He’s written seven books, working on the eighth, and he’s written a ton online as well. Rick opened Portfolio Solutions, the first low fee index fund based wealth management shop and built it up to over a billion dollar company. Rick created the model of low cost fiduciary advice, using index funds and putting the client first, so today we’re chatting to him all about it. Inside this episode Rick shares why he is so passionate about low cost index investing, the four levels of an index investor, and the requirements for being a good index investor in the long term. We also talk about his relationship with John Bogle, who recently passed away. It was a pretty meaningful conversation! For this and more, be sure to join us on today’s episode!

Key Points From This Episode:

  • Rick’s passion for low cost index investing. [0:02:24.0]

  • The four levels of an index investor. [0:05:0]

  • Dimensional funds: active management that uses factor based investing principles.[0:10:29.0]

  • None market risk factors fitting into a portfolio. [0:11:54.0]

  • Rick’s thoughts on the price and the value around behavioral coaching. [0:13:44.0]

  • The future of robo-advisers. [0:18:14.0]

  • Three things required for a person to be a good index investor in the long term. [0:18:54.0]

  • Not indexing yet? - You need repetition, repetition, repetition. [0:20:28.5]

  • Having more assets than they’ll ever need in term of their equity exposure. [0:22:40.0]

  • John Bogle as a person and how he changed the financial services industry. [0:24:33.5]

  • How Rick defines success. [0:29:05.0]

  • And much more!

Bonus Episode: Building a Future for the City: An Interview with Mayor of Ottawa, Jim Watson

We have a special, short bonus episode for you today! We are very glad to welcome the mayor of Ottawa, Jim Watson, to the podcast and although we are not strictly talking about investing and our usual topics, we do think it is a great and insightful conversation that you will enjoy, no matter where you are from. Mayor Watson tells us about his vision for the city, how he characterizes it, and the importance of the tech scene to its growth and success. We also talk about talent attraction and retention, social media in politics, budgeting, and his greater mission while in office. Be sure to tune and hear it all, here on the Rational Reminder Podcast!

Key Points From This Episode:

  • The mayor’s description of Ottawa. [0:02:24.7]

  • Ottawa’s tech scene and the impact of companies like Shopify. [0:03:16.2]

  • Attracting and retaining talent in the city. [0:05:48.8]

  • Implementing a vision through daily work. [0:07:38.4]

  • The role of social media in the job of the mayor. [0:08:53.7]

  • Mayor Watson’s greater mission in politics. [0:11:06.6]

  • Budgeting and balancing expectations around this. [0:12:55.1]

  • And much more!

Episode 32: Active or Passive Management: The Behavioural Explanations of Factors

Welcome back to another episode of the Rational Reminder Podcast. Our goal this year is to find our podcasting rhythm, creating a schedule that alternates between guests and these conversational episodes where it’s just us.

On today’s episode we want to pull the focus of the podcast back to answering a handful of client questions that have come up in the past little while.

So on today’s episode we are jumping right in to answer those listener questions, getting back on the factor train, and trying to get to the root of the desire for face-to-face investment advice. We also talk about a few articles as well, including some of the biggest headlines in investment news, and why it it critical to not only save for but also make plans to fulfill the vision of your retirement. So for another insightful episode answering all of your questions, stay tuned!

Key Points From This Episode:
• Discussing recent stand-out investment articles. [0:03:12.0]
• Unpacking the debate between active and passive investment management. [0:07:11.0]
• Why using factors is not another flavor of active management. [0:10:43.0]
• Understanding market caps surrounding factors. [0:14:41.0]
• Evaluating the worth of a stock that has not dividends or profit sharing. [0:16:46.0]
• Planning for retirement, or not retiring at all: the retirement trends of today. [0:19:53.0]
• Wealthsimple’s premium advice option: the value of dealing face-to-face [0:23:44.0]
• The lost Bitcoin wallets crisis; understanding centralized versus decentralized [0:30:44.0]
• And much more!

Episode 31: Single Decision ETFs: Unpacking XGRO and XBAL from BlackRock

Today on the show we are joined by Steven Leong who is the Head of Canada iShares Product at BlackRock. Steven is here to talk about single decision ETFs, the new XGROs and XBALs from BlackRock and whole lot more. We start off the episode with a bit of an introduction on BlackRock and iShares before Steven informs us on the new relationship between BlackRock and RBC Global Asset Management. From there we get into the meat of the episode looking at the portfolios in question and Canada’s current positioning in the global trends. We talk about some of the great advantages that these funds offer investors and Steven shares his ideas on the current role of the financial advisor with regards to the rise of passive investing. We are lucky enough to have Steven offer his perspective on a slew of related topics before ending off with two great pieces of advice for our listeners. For this and more, be sure to join us!

Key Points From This Episode:

  • A quick overview of BlackRock’s scope and size [0:02:44.0]

  • BlackRock’s relationship with RBC Global Asset Management. [0:04:35.8]

  • A little about the XGRO, the XBAL portfolios. [0:06:32.3]

  • Overweighting in Canada in common model portfolios.. [0:08:52.1]

  • The advantage of automatic rebalancing for the investor. [0:11:06.3]

  • The evolving role of the trusted financial advisor. [0:12:27.4]

  • Sharp downturns in fund fees and the results of this trend. [0:15:01.8]

  • Canada’s relatively slow uptake in index funds and iShares’ factor products. [0:19:46.9]

  • The future of active versus passive investing. [0:25:21.2]

  • Two pieces of investment advice from Steven! [0:27:14.7]

  • And much more!